Monday, 5 October 2015

Why Flying Doctors in West Africa Mining Industry are vital against the combat of Infectious Diseases

With the past spates of Ebola outbreaks in West Africa behind us, we are starting to see more medical health facilities and major incident emergency services apparent in the region. The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared Nigeria ‘Sanction free of the Ebola virus’ putting an end to international, humanitarian tragedy in the region.  However, vigilance remains high as Nigeria looks to re-build its mining economic base.

At the time of the Ebola outbreaks, servicing the mines in the region had proved to be troublesome and difficult. Ebola was largely confined to remote rural areas.  With road and air being the most feasible options. Flying Doctors, air medical evacuation providing on route care, has been proven as the most divisible option.

Incorporating the services of Air Ambulances has proven more complex. Skills such as life support, incident management and public safety competences to remote working locations are a vital part of any business crisis infrastructure.

Whilst the Ebola Crisis saw expatriates and skilled staff deserting corporations, forcing businesses to put expansion on hold, we are seeing ways in which to instil confidence and turn the situation around by embracing capital investment in health and safety, major incident planning and business crisis infrastructures. Any business who adopts these methods will certainly instil confidence back into the market with the return of workers allowing for mining for growth.

A few major specific recommendations for risks of how infectious disease can be tackled and the provisions which should be in place ready for emergency transport

  1. Ensuring emergency communication lines for assistance are in place with back up options 
  2. Provision of emergency transport (By land, water and air)
  3. Regular consistent first-aid and life support training for in-house staff
  4. Preparation of organized plans and simulations scenarios
  5. Journey plans should be meticulously implemented to help reduce risk of road traffic accidents
  6. Major incident plans should be written up and revised
A year on, some of the world’s most profitable business owners are placing more emphasis on adopting crisis emergency services, supporting local healthcare organisations and major international mining communities - signalling they are recognising the problems of insufficient capacity and the drastic need to change.

In Nigeria, the mining industry faces major challenges which directly and indirectly has a knock on effect to the quality of healthcare and emergency medicine response. The prevalence of infectious diseases is higher in Africa than other continents. Therefore specific strategies and precautions must be developed by companies to avoid workers being exposed to infectious diseases.

We’re starting to see employers adopting specific strategies, taking precautions, recognising and addressing the need for additional assistance and onsite medical equipment for unique circumstances, changing first aid needs.  For more information on how the Flying Doctors can assist you with major incident planning and training in Nigeria and Africa wide. Please contact sales@flyingdoctorsnigeria.com

8 comments:

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